Movies like “Letters to Juliet” don't win Oscars, nor should they. These kinds of sappy chick-flicks are Girls' Night fun at best and cheesy moralizing at worst – but what made “Letters to Juliet” enjoyable was its focus on the idea of lasting love and marriage.
While most romantic movies focus in on a ridiculously good-looking young couple with everything going for them somehow falling in love. This kind of film typically ends with said mysteriously good-looking couple either shacking up or simply a vague scene of “getting together” – neither of which give healthy expectations for relationships, especially with the young women who usually are the target audience. Besides the implausibility of the story-lines in general, what dad tells his daughter “someday you'll meet a nice boy, hate his guts for a while, then kiss him and move in together and he'll suddenly change and you'll be in love forever and the credits will fade to black! It's how your mom and I met, honest!” Strangely enough, however, we blissfully accept that Hollywood will show our daughters this very set of standards, and few movie-goers take the time to counter-act such statements.
While “Letters to Juliet” has its fair share of cheesiness, it's not a rampaging moralizing film charading as art, nor does it totally trample the Christian ideals of commitment and marriage. Instead of centering on a promiscious young couple, the film focuses on a 50-year-old love story unfolding, and ends with a wedding instead of a vague notion of noncommital love.
Every Christian family should have discussions on faith in culture, and how we view what Hollywood tells us is true, and “Letters to Juliet” has some excellent food for thought, such as how a premarital sexual relationship might have hurt Sophie and why a commited, loving marriage is important.
Girls NIght has its place and such fun movies as “Letters to Juliet” do too – let's just be sure that we think carefully sbout why and how we let media influence us.
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